One of the biggest mistakes I see with email marketing is being overly reliant on campaigns to drive repeat sales, especially from 1st to 2nd order.
If a customer has purchased your product for the first time, they're not likely to buy from you again just because they received emails.
Your goal with new customers is to first ensure product adoption, and second to make sure they have a great experience with the product.
Only after these objectives have been met should you retarget with the intention of driving sales.
Generally speaking, here is how I set up post-purchase email flows for most brands.
First: Use the correct trigger metric
The first mistake I see brands make is using the “Placed Order” metric in Shopify (or other eCommerce platforms) to trigger the flow.
The problem with this is that some customers may cancel their order before it is fulfilled or the brand may have a stock/product issue that wasn’t accounted for so they can’t fulfil the order.
To offset any potential customer service complaints and a poor customer experience, you’ll want to use the “Fulfilled Order” metric to trigger the flow:
You’ll also need to add specific Flow Filters either at a trigger level or conditional splits in the flow itself if you want to craft specific messaging for repeat buyers (i.e. 2 + purchasers over time).
Now that the trigger has been set, let’s analyse the framework that works for the majority of D2C brands.
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Email 1: Eliminate Buyer's Remorse
Buyer’s remorse is a sense of regret that creeps into customers after they make a purchase.
And if somebody is buying from your store for the first time, it’s likely to be heightened.
The customer may have valid concerns about your shipping and returns policy, as well as whether you’re going to fulfil your promise of delivering a great experience when they subscribe to receive emails.
Now is the time to help them overcome that anxiety and turn it into excitement.
A message from the CEO reaffirming the brand’s commitment to the customer can work very well here, but anything that alleviates these concerns will work very effectively:
2: Manage Expectations on Delivery
Your next goal is to ensure that the customer is kept up to date with when their product will be delivered.
I love using Wonderment for this as they give you a wide spectrum of native triggers in Klaviyo that cover each part of the delivery process:
I would recommend setting each of these triggers up as flows rather than being inside the same fulfilled order flow.
You really can’t “over communicate” to customers during shipping - they want to hear confirmation emails and relevant updates on where their parcel is as it helps strengthen your first objective which is to eliminate buyer’s remorse.
Here’s an example of how these emails look when delivered to the customer:
3: Educate on the Product
Whether they bought through social media or your website, the product will finally be in the customer's hands - a great start! But your job isn’t over yet.
You now need to ensure that the product is adopted and the customer gets value out of it.
In order to achieve this, I like to send product-specific emails based on their purchase behaviour that shows them how to use the product and include any necessary instructions on maximising its usage.
Care tips here are also timely and can provide added-value to the customer:
4: Ask for a Review
Around 1 week after the customer has received the product, it’s time to go in and try to collect that crucial UGC.
There are a raft of integrations here from Reviews.io to Okendo that have robust integrations to Klaviyo and allow you to create custom messaging tailored specifically to the customer:
Want to potentially prevent negative reviews before they appear on your dashboard?
Then before this review request is sent, trigger a post-purchase follow-up leveraging a conversational approach from customer support over email (or SMS if they’re subscribed) simply asking the customer about their experience with the product.
If it’s negative, you’ll know to exclude them from receiving the review request and you can focus on solving the issue they had with the product through support.
Utilise Klaviyo’s integration with Gorgias or Zendesk to filter these responses back through to customer support so they can resolve the issue.
You're now being integrative with the wider business goals of promoting a positive customer experience.
5: Build the Omnichannel Experience
Now is the time to strengthen the omnichannel presence so that you can enhance your communication touchpoints with your customer.
It is a sad reality that churn is inevitable each year on your list, so increasing the number of channels you have to communicate with your subscribers is a crucial goal.
If the customer isn’t subscribed to SMS marketing at this stage of the customer journey, a strong incentive can work wonders.
But if you have a kick-ass TikTok or Instagram presence, try to encourage them to participate by showcasing your best content and give them opportunities to feature there.
6: Drive Repeat Sales
In eCommerce, the name of the game is sales otherwise the lights won’t stay on and setting up klaviyo back in stock emails up are essential.
You’ve provided an exceptional experience and added value to the customer, so now is the time to try to nudge them back to your store to buy again.
I’m not a fan of discounts at every stage of the funnel but if the customer hasn’t purchased organically and you’re in FMCG, a deadline with time sensitivity attached to it can convert well here.
If you’re cautious about margin, then work on no-brainer bundles that have a high Average Order Value (AOV) to maintain profitability.
Experiment with what works best here and even just focusing on a killer product that you think would be beneficial to the customer can work just as effectively as an incentive.
When in doubt, test your approach aggressively.
Bonus: don’t forget your Exclusion Segments
Don't forget to set up your Exclusion Segments so customers aren't sucked into your campaign sends before they go on this journey through your tailored email automation.
When you create a post flow (a klaviyo thank you flow), you want the customer to move down a very strategic path. Don't muddy their experience with incessant offers.
And while there are always variables and nuances which may alter your strategic approach to a post-purchase flow for first-time buyers, I’ve found this to be a reliable starting point for providing an exceptional customer experience and driving repeat sales.
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further in depth reading
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